The Diary of a Madman

by

Nikolai Gogol

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Sophie, an upper-class woman, is the daughter of Poprishchin’s boss and is Poprishchin’s love interest. Poprishchin is infatuated with Sophie, and often writes poetic phrases and verses in his diary about her looks despite the fact that she barely notices or interacts with him. She is also the owner of a lapdog, Medji, whom Poprishchin believes writes letters to another dog in the neighborhood. Some of Medji’s letters, which are likely hallucinated by Poprishchin in his insanity, contain information about Sophie’s life. Sophie is in love with a kammerjunkera gentleman of low, but imperial, rankand Poprishchin is angered to learn she will likely marry him. Medji’s letter also indicates that Sophie thinks Poprishchin is unattractive, a fact that further infuriates him.

Sophie Quotes in The Diary of a Madman

The The Diary of a Madman quotes below are all either spoken by Sophie or refer to Sophie. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Diary of a Madman published in 1999.
October 4 Quotes

Our director must be a very intelligent man. His whole study is filled with bookcases. I read the titles of some of the books: it’s all learning, such learning as our kind can’t even come close to… A real statesman. I notice, though, that he has a special liking for me. If only the daughter also...

Related Characters: Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin (speaker), Sophie, The Director
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:

Heavens above, how she was dressed! Her gown was white as a swan, and so magnificent… “Your Excellency,” I almost wanted to say, “don’t punish me, but if it is your will to punish me, punish me with Your Excellency’s own hand.” But, devil take it, my tongue somehow refused to move…

Related Characters: Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin (speaker), Sophie
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:
November 6 Quotes

“You’re over forty— it’s time you got smart. What are you dreaming of? Do you think I don’t know all your pranks? You’re dangling after the director’s daughter! Well, take a look at yourself, only think, what are you? You’re a zero, nothing more. You haven’t got a kopeck to your name.”

Related Characters: The Section Chief (speaker), Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin , Sophie
Page Number: 283
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sophie Character Timeline in The Diary of a Madman

The timeline below shows where the character Sophie appears in The Diary of a Madman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
October 3
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
...to the shop, and realizes it belongs to his boss, the director. The director’s daughter, Sophie, has taken the carriage to go shopping, and when she gets out of the vehicle,... (full context)
Insanity Theme Icon
Poprishchin notices that Sophie has left her dog outside while she shops. He remembers that he “knows” the dog,... (full context)
October 4
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
...director has a “special liking” for him, and reveals that he wishes the director’s daughter, Sophie, felt similarly warm towards him. (full context)
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
Sophie then enters the study, and Poprishchin jumps to attention. He thinks she is “magnificent,” and... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
Sophie then leaves the room, and a lackey comes in and dismisses Poprishchin from his duties... (full context)
November 11
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
...see into the drawing room, where there are “rich furnishings,” and then fantasizes about seeing Sophie’s bedroom, with all her accessories and clothing. (full context)
Insanity Theme Icon
...once called Medji over to him, and asked her to tell him about her owner, Sophie; Medji had not responded. He then resolves to find the other dog, Fidèle, and question... (full context)
November 13
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Medji begins to talk about Sophie and describes a scene in which a man named Teplov shows up at Sophie’s home.... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Medji then jokes that if Sophie likes Teplov, she might soon like the clerk who sits in the director’s study. Medji... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Medji goes on to write that Sophie loves Teplov “to distraction,” which makes her father, the director, very “happy.” Medji comments that... (full context)
December 3
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Poprishchin does not want to believe that Sophie will marry Teplov. He begins to rant about how Teplov cannot be that much better... (full context)
The 86th of Martober. Between day and night.
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
...then walks out of the office and goes to the director’s apartment. He goes into Sophie’s boudoir, and she is startled to see him; she begins to back away from him.... (full context)